There are about 2,000 miles between Bozeman and Veracruz, Mexico. Luckily, you don’t have to travel that far to get a taste of this coastal city’s delicious cuisine. Los Jarochos restaurant brings a slice of Veracruz right to downtown Bozeman. The restaurant is owned and operated by the Montero family, whose Veracruz heritage shines through in phenomenal dishes that have drawn quite a loyal following.
Los Jarochos began as a food truck, but as of last fall, its many faithful customers can finally enjoy their favorite Mexican cuisine year-round. In September, the popular eatery added a brick-and-mortar restaurant to their arsenal, allowing them to continue serving up their authentic Veracruz-inspired dishes through the winter.
When I headed into Los Jarochos this week, it was my fourth or fifth visit of the year. Even at 3 pm, between the lunch and dinner rush, the place was bustling and busy. Thankfully, I was able to steal a few minutes of Alejandro Montero Jr.’s time to talk about what has quickly become one of my favorite spots to eat in Bozeman.
Elsa Russell: How was Los Jarochos conceptualized?
Alejandro Montero Jr: In 2018, we had a food truck, and we parked it at the Boot Barn. People really liked the food, so ever since then, we’ve had a big clientele. That was before the coronavirus started, and before that, we were looking for a restaurant, but everywhere was just expensive. Then we found this spot, and the owners were telling us that other people wanted it too, and we were just kinda like, we’re ready to open up. And it’s a really nice spot. The people really like the patio too. It’s nice, our patio, it’s cool out there. And we’re going to have both places open up soon.
ER: The restaurant and the food truck?
AM: Yeah, in three more weeks, the food truck will be open for the summer.
ER: What do you want people to experience when they walk through your doors?
AM: Well, you know, my house is your house, mi casa es tu casa type of thing. Yeah, and then our food is based off of food from Veracruz, so when they come here that’s our style of food. It’s where we’re from.
ER: What makes you unique in the Bozeman food scene?
AM: A lot of people say we’re the most authentic, so maybe that. And our tacos, too, a lot of people think they’re the best in town, so maybe that too.
ER: Do you have a favorite menu item?
AM: The tacos are really good. And the empanadas; both of those are really good. The sopes too. They’re made of masa, and they’re really good. And then we make a menudo. We do that on the weekends, and that’s really good too. It’s one of our most popular dishes.
ER: What do your regulars keep coming back for?
AM: We have a lot of Hispanic customers that come for the menudo, and we have these seafood dishes like the mar cajete. It’s not on the menu, but we have it outside. Yeah, the mar cajete is one of the big ones. It’s mostly the Hispanic customers that like it. It has seafood, and steak, and a little bit of broth, and then we put cactus in it too. So it’s really good.
ER: What is your favorite part about being a part of the Bozeman community?
AM: You know, we own the place, mostly my family, so it’s nice that a lot of people really like the food. That’s a big part of it.
ER: Do you have anything coming up that you want readers to know about?
AM: Probably the food truck opening back up. We’re also going to add more to the menu; we’ve got a new menu coming. I’m not exactly sure when, but it’s something to look out for. We’re hiring people too! It’s pretty hard to find people. We’re mostly hiring bilingual people.
As a Los Jarochos regular myself, I can confirm that the empanadas, tacos, and sopes have me coming back time and time again, and the list of menu items I am eager to try only continues to grow. I highly recommend you make the quick trip to W. Babcock St. as soon as possible. Sit inside beneath colorful papel picado or, if the weather allows, outside on the patio, and experience the divine taste of Veracruz for yourself.